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Food Embassy
March 122017

Sometimes as an expat you just find yourself craving food from home. Situated next door to the Portuguese Embassy and just along the road from the Irish Embassy and Japanese Consulate, the Food Embassy aims to please expats with a wide range of foods from around the world as well as some homegrown Russian favourites.

It’s a tough ask to provide food that hits the spot for foreigners who have been raised on those dishes but if the British Fish and Chips were anything to go by, the chef really knows her stuff.

 

My husband was the one who ordered the fish, and he said it was the best he’s had since leaving England’s shores. It would be hard to get a better review! I opted for the smoked duck tagliatelle – the restaurant has its own smokehouse and so offers a wide range of smoked dishes. I’m no expert but it was certainly very tasty. The kids went for the cod nuggets and French fries, and they ate the cod so fast we were tempted to order them another portion, but in the end they chose to fill up their tummies with the kids desert (a rather nice chocolate ice-cream). I decided that I had space for desert too and was tempted by this very pretty Anna Pavolva from New Zealand. It was delicious but enormous and I ate far more of it than I really should, it was very moreish!

Anna Pavlova

Of course, regular readers will know that the menu alone isn’t enough to tempt us through the doors with two young kids in tow – a big draw for us was the Food Embassy art masterclass for kids on Saturdays and Sundays (after 2pm). As well as two lovely ladies to help children with some wonderful art projects (I think my 3 year old may have been given some considerable help to make hers!), the restaurant also sets aside an area at weekends with some toys to keep the little ones occupied.

The kids had a wonderful time, Little Pickle revelled in the full attention of the art lady and had a great time colouring and sticking and was extremely proud of the card she made. Beanie-boy was tempted by the toys which were more than enough to keep him entertained while waiting for his food to arrive, and were still keeping him busy some time later while his parents indulged in tea and coffee.

We will be making a return visit to Food Embassy in the near future. Next time I’ll see if the sticky toffee pudding stands up to the best of British too!

Food Embassy can be found at 26, Prospekt Mira Building 8 – but the entrance is some considerable way down Grokholsky Pereulok next door to the Portuguese Embassy. As well as having a kids menu and art classes, I also spotted a highchair for the littlest ones.

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If we take Little Pickle to any playground, she will make a beeline for the swings, but at Cafe Odessa Mama it was Beanie-boy who spotted the aeroplane-shaped swing first. To read more about our visit to this lovely cafe and it’s fabulous garden, click here.

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I’m not sure I’ve eaten enough burgers in Moscow to have a definitive opinion on where to find the best, but at Black Market they are certainly very good. And there are plenty to choose from – as well as their classic Black Market burger, there’s also a Mozzarella burger, truffle burger, chicken, tuna, and lamb. But the menu doesn’t just stop there. It has a very nice selection of Asian dishes, and, although I’ve never tried it, I’m told that the weekend brunch is fabulous (I’ve seen the waffles, and they look like they’d be worth breaking a diet for!)

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This is one of our favourite restaurants to come to during the summer months. Not only does it have a lovely terraced area (which has table-football to keep Beanie-boy amused while he waits for his food) it is directly opposite Trubetskoy Estate Park so you can burn off those calories chasing the kids around afterwards.

DSC_0705It’s a very family-friendly place (although the children’s menu only operates at weekends). We’ve come before with several friends who have toddlers, and the restaurant easily found high-chairs for all of them. There is also a lady who comes and plays with the children during Saturday brunch/lunch-time. During the winter you’ll find her at the far end of the restaurant, but during the summer she’s often on the terrace near the table-football.

Just one word of advice: the level of hot spice in some of the dishes is not as strong as you might expect (this seems to particularly apply to the Mexican items). But thankfully the menu draws pictures of chilli peppers next to those items that do have some chilli heat in them so you can see if they are likely to match your expectations before you order.

And if you want to sit on the terrace in summer then you definitely need to book in advance.

Black Market is at 2 Ulitsa Usacheva and their website is at http://blackmarketcafe.ru/en/

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Tinatin
February 202016

This weekend found us eating at a rather classy restaurant complete with wood-panelled ceiling, grand piano and chandeliers, but we weren’t at Tinatin for a date night (although it would be a great choice for that!), we were there for Saturday lunch with the children. You can read the full post about Tinatin’s fabulous play area (and the food!) here.

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Shinok
January 312016

When my husband came back from a business dinner and told me he’d been to a restaurant with a goat inside the building, I have to confess that I briefly feared for his sanity. But not only does Shinok have a real live goat, it also has a small cow, pheasants, chickens and a couple of peacocks too. You can read the full post about our visit to Shinok here.

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Expedicia Restaurant
December 82015

“Would you like to try some of the reindeer meat?” my husband asked. “It’s served frozen” he added as I reached for a slice. Frozen it was, and served with lots of onion and horseradish. Having never had anything frozen that wasn’t dessert, I was about to reach for a second piece when my husband chose to mention it was raw reindeer meat. “There’s something for you to blog about it.” he said. Indeed! You can read the full story about our visit to the Siberian restaurant Expedicia here.

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Baba Marta
October 82015

I have a special place in my heart for Baba Marta. It was the first family-friendly restaurant we discovered when we moved here, and the first place where we experienced the thrill of tasting different food to home. To find out more, you can read the full post here.

 

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Elarji
October 22015

We were blessed with some unseasonably hot and sunny weather last week and so there was one clear winner when it came to choosing somewhere with both great food and a fabulous outdoor play area for the kids – Elarji. I find it hard to fault this restaurant. We’ve brought several sets of visitors to Elarji over the summer and it has been a huge hit with all of them. If you want to find out more you can read the full post here.

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I do love it when I spot something a little bit out of the ordinary, and that is exactly what I discovered on our visit to Café Anderson on Gilyaovskogo Ulitsa. To be precise, what I found was a frog-shaped toilet in the children’s bathroom! Wouldn’t it be great to have one of these at home? I’m sure it would make toilet-training a lot easier! You can read more about our visit here.

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Cafe Merkato
August 252015

I’ve been aching to try out Cafe Merkato ever since we discovered that it’s run by the same people as Pinzeria by Bontempi (near Christ the Saviour Cathedral) which my husband’s Italian colleagues describe as serving the best pizza in Moscow (and if the Italians don’t know about good pizza then who does?). Situated by the beach volleyball courts in the centre of Gorky Park, Cafe Merkato is the more relaxed, family-friendly member of the Bontempi empire. You can read the full post here.

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I felt like I had come home when I walked into this café. Café Anderson is what I have been looking for ever since we moved to Moscow – somewhere we could eat a casual brunch while the children played. There are a number of branches in the city but we came to this one so we could combine it with a walk in nearby Troparevsky park afterwards. You can read the full post about our visit to Café Anderson here.

 

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A year ago I knew absolutely nothing about Georgian food and I’d never eaten any. But after just nine months in Moscow my taste buds have spent enough time in Georgian cafes and restaurants to be able to identify the good from the bad and indifferent. Spices and Gladness is one of the good ones. One of the very good ones. To read more of this post click here.

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I am just going to come right out and admit it. I love Khachapuri. I have a teenage-style crush on this Georgian restaurant chain, and if I were writing this using pen and paper I’d be doodling little hearts in the margins.

I love the loft-style décor with its mix and match furniture and picked-from-a-meadow flowers. I love the laid-back atmosphere of the place which works just as well for a Wednesday night catch-up with friends as it does for lunch at the weekend with the family. And of course, I love the food.

First, of course, there’s the Khachapuri after which the restaurant is named – a Georgian flatbread with melting cheese in the middle. My three year old refers to it as Cheesy Pizza and we have to fight him for every last slice. We always include some shashlik (kebabs) in our order – pork, lamb or chicken are all great, but whether you’re vegetarian or not, I’d recommend you get the vegetable shashlik as well. Just heavenly. I have no idea how they make vegetables taste that good. Also yummy are the lamb-stuffed vine leaves (Dolma). Quite a bit different to the Greek version but simply delicious. And I must give a mention to the Lobio which is  a traditional bean stew. It has a homely, comforting taste to it and my toddler literally tries to climb out of her high chair to get at it.

Have I missed anything? Oh yes, keep an eye out for Tolik the Sheep, the Khachapuri mascot. We spotted him once outside the branch on Ukrainian Boulevard but you can also follow him on Facebook, Instagram and the Russian version of Twitter.

P.S. All the branches provide colouring pencils and paper to keep the little ones busy while waiting for their food, but they have a regular programme of events for children at Kievskaya.

http://hacha.ru/en/

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  • Food Embassy

    Food Embassy

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    Café Odessa Mama

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  • Black Market Cafe

    Black Market Cafe

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  • Tinatin

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  • Expedicia Restaurant

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    Baba Marta

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  • Café Anderson on Gilyaovskogo Ulitsa

    Café Anderson on Gilyaovskogo Ulitsa

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  • Cafe Merkato

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  • Café Anderson – Ostrovityanova Ulitsa

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  • Prianosti i Radosti (Spices and Gladness)

    Prianosti i Radosti (Spices and Gladness)

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  • Khachapuri Restaurant

    Khachapuri Restaurant

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